The debates continue — without Mark Martin | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The debates continue — without Mark Martin

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 6:30 AM

click to enlarge HE LIVES: In one of his rare public appearances, Mark Martin talks to a couple of Boy Scouts at a Rotary Club meeting in Marion, Ark. Don't look for him at political debates, however.
  • HE LIVES: In one of his rare public appearances, Mark Martin talks to a couple of Boy Scouts at a Rotary Club meeting in Marion, Ark. Don't look for him at political debates, however.

AETN continues its illuminating political debates. At 10 a.m. this morning, it will tape a debate for two of the three candidates for secretary of state — Democrat Susan Inman and Libertarian Jacob Holloway.

Preparations began months ago. Recently, Republican Secretary of State Mark Martin said he had a conflict and would not participate.


I've been waiting since Saturday for a response from Martin's staff on where he will be this morning and when that conflict was arranged. The office is about as efficient at providing public information about the nominal office holder's whereabouts as it is in educating the state about the voter ID law. In other words, wholly ineffective.

If I were Mark Martin, a churlish sort who doesn't talk to the press or anyone but select safe audiences, I wouldn't want to appear with the highly competent Susan Inman, former Pulaski election coordinator, either. He might have to answer on such topics as:

* Wasting $100,000 in tax money on illegal outside counsel for the secretary of state's office, rather than using the attorney general.

* Wasting more tax money to hire his own redistrict coordinator, buying an SUV and funneling money to an executive retreat outfit.

* Partisan activities by an office staff member who later got balled up in improper congressional campaign activities.

* Partisan campaigning by another office staff member.

* His unhinged reaction to a joshing newspaper publisher in Mount Ida.

Mark Martin has the same name as a famous race car driver from Arkansas. That and Republican Party membership, he figures, are enough. He need not answer to the public. By some accounts, he's an infrequent visitor at his Capitol office. For that, perhaps, we should be thankful.

UPDATE: Blue Hog Report, a regular pain in Mark Martin's side, has done a wonderful bit of research, using geotagging on Facebook to illustrate how many days Mark Martin has posted items on Facebook from locations far removed from his nominal public work in Little Rock.

Between March 31 and August 12, there were 95 regular business days, excluding weekends and holidays. Mark Martin was either at home in Prairie Grove or in other places not on state business for 42 of those days. For the average person who works 8-5 Monday through Friday, that’s the equivalent of enjoying 8 weeks and 2 days of paid leave…over a 4 1/2 month period.

Best. Job. Ever.

At least he works more than Congress! LOL! HAHAHAHAHA! ZING! WASHINGTON D.C., AMIRITE?!?

Oh. Wait. Nope.

Between March 31 and August 4 (when Congress went on recess), Congress only took off 22 days.

Over that same period, Mark MArtin posted at least 257 times to Facebook during normal business hours2. When does this guy have time to work?


Just like the Governor, the Secretary is supposed to reside and keep his office in Little Rock.

How is someone supposed to lead a staff of over 200 people by never being in their presence? Yes, he has managers, but they never see him either. That doesn’t even count as leading from behind.

As an Arkansas Taxpayer, I hereby formally request a refund of the $54,000 in management consulting fees paid to Soderquist Group for advising the Secretary of State on how to run his office.

Based on everything his digital presence tells us, I think it is safe to say he is skipping the debates because they don’t line up on one of the select few days a month he is actually in the vicinity of central Arkansas.

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